InforMS: Summer 2017

InforMSSummer17 coverFrom Surviving to Thriving

Living with MS can be deflating. Are there strategies to help you bounce back?


Finding Support, a Companion, and So Much More

By Kerri Cechovic | “I knew the minute he walked up the sidewalk. He was the dog for me, the dog of my dreams.” That was Peri Abrahams’ reaction when she first met her service dog, Morgan, 7 years ago.

Peri, a retired social worker, lives with her husband, Rich, and Morgan in Denver.  She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998 when she was 38 years old and experienced a loss of her center field of vision.  Several years later she began having trouble with her gait. Her MS became increasingly aggressive in the early 2000s.

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Getting Back to the Slopes

By Peter Broderick | Like many people living with MS, Patrick Tulley has experienced a variety of symptoms over the years. But the effect MS has had on his walking is what’s had the most direct impact on his life and his lifestyle.

“My first symptoms were numbness and a noticeable walking problem -- staggering like I was drunk,” says Tulley, who was originally diagnosed in 2001.

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Resilience Prevails on MS4MS Hikes

By Peter Broderick | “When the doctor said those two words – ‘multiple sclerosis’ – I just wanted to collapse.”

Elizabeth Persons has a story that’s familiar to many – an MS diagnosis came out of the blue, interrupting her life and filling her future with questions and unknowns.

“I came to Colorado for biking and running and hiking and all the outdoor things that people come here for,” says Persons. “I was living a Colorado lifestyle up until I heard those two words.”

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Social Security Issues New Rules on Evaluating Evidence to Determine Disability

By Thomas Stewart, MS, JD, PA-C | Social Security has issued important new regulations, which will go into effect for applications filed on or after March 27, 2017. 

At least two of these rules are important for Social Security applicants and their health care team to understand.  First, Social Security will now consider the notes and opinions of physician assistants and nurse practitioners as “acceptable medical source.”  Such classification is a factor that may justify giving that opinion greater weight than other opinions.   The list of acceptable medical sources will, of course, continue to include physicians.  Other medical sources, such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses, though technically not “acceptable medical sources” may still be important in determining whether you are disabled.  This rule is generally favorable for applicants and recognizes the practicalities of care in the modern health care system, where, at least in some care models, PAs and NPs frequent provide most, if not all clinical care for patients.

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